More About Minerals Mini-Lesson

Use this slideshow to introduce different kinds of minerals to students and to explain how some minerals are used. This can be a helpful introduction to minerals, before a unit on properties and identification.
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Teaching Strategies

Excerpted from

Eyewitness: Rocks & Minerals
Eyewitness: Rocks & Minerals
R.F. Symes

Get an in-depth, comprehensive look at rocks and minerals with a unique integration of words and pictures.

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Students will learn more about minerals and their different uses.
Suggested Time
15 minutes
Reading Level
Upper Elementary
More About Minerals Mini-Lesson

Teacher Background

There are more than 3,500 different minerals and more are identified each year. Despite this large number, no two crystals
Read more

Print or Project

  • A Visual Overview: Show the slideshow of photos to your class. Each has a descriptive caption and kid-friendly copy for your students to read. (Please note that there is also more extensive teacher note copy just for you.)
  • Creative Caption Review: Once you've been through the slideshow for an overview, go back through it again. This time ask students to explain why the captions do (or do not!) work.(Example: Do you think the caption "Colorful Copper" is a good one for the photo of the copper? Why or why not?)
Continue the Conversation
Ask students to look around the room to see if they can identify some useful minerals. Answers will vary but you can point out examples of any steel in the room, including coins in their pocket. Glass is also mostly melted quartz sand. Be sure to point out that our bodies need small traces of minerals that are found in the food we eat.
Write about it
Tell students about the California Gold Rush that occurred in the mid 1800s. Ask them to imagine they have just discovered gold on their land. Then ask them to write two paragraphs about how they feel about the discovery and what they would do with their rare mineral find.

Lesson Contents


Extension Activities





Word Power Vocabulary
Grade: 4 - 6
Students practice vocabulary relevant to minerals by using each defined word in a sentence.



Classifying Minerals
Grade: 5
Students classify minerals according to different characteristics.


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